Customs officers confiscated a total of nearly $50,000 from international travelers at Texas airports in the last few weeks alone. Specifically, the cash seizure by customs was at San Antonio International Airport and at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. The first story involves $16,000 of currency that sounds like it was structured by an adult father and daughter traveling together in order to evade the reporting requirement. The story finishes by stating that in the last fiscal year (ending October 31), CBP seized more than $81,496,161 ($81.5 million!) in undeclared or illicit currency.
On Nov. 3, CBP officers working at the San Antonio International Airport discovered a pair of travelers carrying over $16,000 in unreported currency. The travelers, who are citizens of Mexico and traveling together, arrived separately to CBP for processing and each reported they were traveling alone.
Both who claimed to be traveling alone and reported carrying less than $10,000. However when question furthered, the travelers, a father, 53 and his daughter 27 admitted that they were in fact traveling together. The amount of currency discovered among their belongings added up to $16,000. The currency was seized for failure to properly report currency in an aggregate amount exceeding $10,000.
The second story involves a single traveler leaving for Argentina who reported only having $9,000, but really had more than $33,000 (tsk tsk). In addition, the money was not in a single location but was in “several envelopes stashed among his belongings.” The fact that it was stashed may give rise to bulk cash smuggling as a second ground for seizure beyond the failure to report.
Three days later at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport CBP officers seized currency from a traveler who was departing the United States head to Argentina. The passenger reported $9,000 in his possession, however when CBP officers completed the currency verification, more than $33,400 was discovered. The cash was found in several envelopes stashed among his belongings. CBP seized the currency.
International travelers with negotiable monetary instruments valued at $10,000 or greater in their possession must complete a form FinCEN 105, Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments according to U.S. law. Negotiable monetary instruments include currency, personal checks that have been endorsed, travelers’ checks, gold coins, securities or stocks in bearer form.